When it does not exist, design it

Royce quote on a napkin

 

Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it.

Sir Henry Royce

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Why you must know what you want

When you do not know what you want, you cannot easily differentiate between the work you need to do and work which you don’t need to do. You end up doing more work than you need to and, as pointed out earlier, you allow yourself insufficient time to recover from your efforts. This will eventually lead to stress and the negative health consequences associated with it.

Coaching Positive Performance

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What Olympians Can Show Us About Setting Big Goals

The Problem With Goals
You wouldn’t know it from browsing the self-help aisle of your local bookstore, but scientists are beginning to question whether focusing too much on goals runs counter to long-term performance and general well-being. In a Harvard Business School report titled “Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting, a team of researchers from Harvard, Northwestern, and the University of Pennsylvania set out to explore the potential downfalls of goal-setting. They found that overemphasizing goals — and especially those that are based on measurable outcomes — often leads to reduced intrinsic motivation, irrational risk-taking, and unethical behavior.

What Olympians Can Show Us About Setting Big Goals

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The argument for mastering one thing at a time

If you want to master multiple habits and stick to them for good, then you need to figure out how to be consistent. How can you do that?

Well, here is one of the most robust findings from psychology research on how to actually follow through on your goals:

The scientific argument for mastering one thing at a time

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How to pick a field in two minutes

Road and trees

Dick Bolles:

When a woman is packing for a trip, she may throw in “this little frock, which can go anywhere.” Likewise, when a man is packing for a trip, he may throw in a dark blue blazer, again because “it can go anywhere.”

This idea, that you have something which could fit into a number of different situations, is probably the best introduction possible to the concept of “transferable skills.”
Briefly stated, this concept holds that your basic skills – whether they be “organizing,” or “analyzing,” or “writing,” or “teaching,” or “planning” – are like that frock or blazer: they can go anywhere.

Therefore, you have to decide where you’d be happiest employing your transferable skills, because – believe me – where you’d be happiest is also where you’d be most effective.

This is called “picking a field.” Sounds easy. But I have learned over the past forty plus years that there is no subject where job-hunters and career-changers bog down more, than in figuring out their favorite field; so let me try to cut through the thicket by offering you ten ways to approach this.

The Two Minute Crash Course on How To Pick A Field

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Want to improve your presentation skills?

If one of the things you want is to improve your presentation skills, why not take a minute to consider Potential Energy:

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What focus means…

“Steve was the most remarkably focused person I’ve ever met in my life,” Ive said. “And the thing with focus is, it’s not this thing you aspire to, or you decide on Monday, ‘You know, I’m going to be focused.’ It is a every minute, ‘Why are we talking about this? This is what we’re working on.’ You can achieve so much when you truly focus.”

He added: “What focus means is saying no to something that with every bone in your body think is a phenomenal idea, and you wake up thinking about it, but you end up saying no to it because you’re focusing on something else.

Jonathan Ive on what he learned about focus from Steve Jobs.

I have never been good at this, always distracted by another shiny thing but something about the purity of this kind of focus has a deep, visceral appeal. Not sure why.

This is the first in a short series looking at what focus means and how to get more of it.

Thoughts for today:

Focus is less about choosing one thing to concentrate on and much more about saying no to 100 other things.

And it’s not an added extra. If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority.

 

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